Best CAD Software?

I am trying to create a CAD model of our robot before state. Should I use fusion 360 Or Autodesk?

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Autodesk is a company which creates CAD softwares such as fusion 360. It is not a CAD software itself.


Sorry I meant Autodesk Inventor.

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What cad software do you already know?

I am new to CAD, I was just wondering which one was easier to learn.

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There are a number of options for CAD software for which you (or your team) can get free education licenses, including SolidWorks, Fusion, OnShape, UGNX, and Inventor. (Fusion and Inventor are Autodesk products, Autodesk itself is not a CAD package). This document has more information about various CAD packages available to students.

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Ok, Thank You. I think I’m going to use fusion.

If you’re using fusion I’d recommend using the newer VEX CAD library, rather than the one linked in that PDF.


I guess I need to make some updates (it’s been busy at work…barely enough time to keep up on the forums when the boss is away :slight_smile: ). I also need to add UGNX to the list, as they have recently opened up educational licensing as well (if you want to work for SpaceX, for example, you’ll need to learn Unigraphics NX).


Thank you guys for helping :grinning:

I personally use inventor, but the best software is always the one that you know how to use. The most common softwares that I see used are Inventor, Fusion 360, Solidworks, Onshape, and Protobot. I would also recommend watching tutorials or joining the Vex CAD discord server, as help with CAD can be obtained there.


it depends on what your cading for i use inventor but i know fusion too i use it for 3d printing
the reason i would recommend inventor is because you can do technical drawings. i learned how to do this in ddp and they look amazing in inventor because you can do it from different angles or do a nice explosion which makes you look soo smart. to my knowledge fusion can only do renders

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This is an interesting list of the “top 10” CAD; however, It looks like it may be based on a “consumer standpoint” with free/open source software being ranked higher. Fortunately, as robotics students, you all have the unique opportunity to use learn and use most of the leading CAD software with no-cost educational licenses. Here is an article which lists the top CAD software as used in industry in 2021. 10 CAD Systems Employers Want (2023) - Apollo Technical

Topping the list is Solidworks and Inventor. Also on the list are leading CAD packages used for civil engineering and building applications (a big part of the market that mechanical engineers don’t usually get involved with).

Here’s what you need to find the student licensing for these CAD packages:

Solidworks (Mentor/Coach must apply): Student Sponsorship Program | SOLIDWORKS

Autodesk programs (Inventor, Fusion, Revit, AutoCad):


UGNX: NX Student Edition Free Download - NX Design

Microstation and Catia do not have student download versions.

Additional CAD software that is industrial-quality, but not on the “top 9” for 2021 include Onshape and Solid Edge.

OnShape (much of the features of SolidWorks but runs in a browser-based application on the OnShape remote servers, so even a Chromebook can run the program): Education Plan | Onshape Product Development Platform

SolidEdge: Solid Edge Student Edition


My team like to use Onshape because it’s browser based - it means you can go into a model on any device with just a login. It even works on mobile devices with the app. And you can find lots of pre-made models of parts etc.

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